Everyone has mental health, but some people will struggle more than others. Mental health is a rising concern worldwide and can affect how people feel, think, and behave. There are different mental health problems, from anxiety, stress, and depression to bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and loneliness.
There are many reasons our mental health might suffer, but it might not always be what you think. Everyone is different, which means it can be hard to determine one cause for your issues, and in some cases, it is not always down to one reason. However, understanding what can impact your mental health can be an empowering first step in seeking help, improving your mental wellbeing, and living a more fulfilling life.
Here are the nine factors impacting your mental health:
Social connection and regular interactions are important as we are social beings. Relationships can impact your mental health if you are experiencing conflict, difficulties, or change with a friend or loved one. Conversely, a lack of relationships can also impact your mental well-being. If you isolate from people or live in a busy city, it is still possible to feel emotionally isolated.
Whether big or small, life changes can impact your mental health by disturbing usual patterns and routines and leaving a lurking sense of uncertainty. Humans are creatures of habits, so any disturbances to our usual life can bring struggles, anxiety, and stress. This can be anything from sudden or expected changes, either positive or negative, such as starting university, moving house, losing your job, or expecting a baby.
Money, in general, can hinder your mental wellbeing, let alone money problems. When you face money problems, it is common to face a loss of control, shame, and hopelessness. However, many resources online and help centers can help you manage your money and deal with money problems.
Physical health problems
Your physical health can negatively impact your mental health. Whether you are suffering from a short-term or long-term health complication, it can take its toll on your mental wellbeing by bringing about depression, anxiety, and sadness. It can also disrupt sleep, limit socialization and decrease self-esteem, impacting your mental health. If you are suffering, then it is important to seek support to help you manage symptoms.
Unfortunately, the lifestyle you lead can cause poor mental health. For example, if you predominantly eat unhealthy food then you are putting yourself at risk from weight-related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. One such condition, Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ASCVD) is high cholesterol creating a buildup of plaque in the arterial walls. If left untreated it can be fatal, finding the right treatment plan early is essential.
Once ASCVD has been discovered it is time to go through treatment options. Treatment for ASCVD can include dietary and lifestyle changes as well as injections to reduce your high cholesterol. Make sure you do your research and find out the best course of treatment for you.
Nutrition can play a huge role in your mental health. If you eat a diet high in processed food, studies have shown that it can increase inflammation and hinder the production of certain hormones. A poor diet can also lead to deficiencies in important nutrients and vitamins, leading to depression, anxiety, irritability, cognitive impairment, and memory issues. Therefore, it is important to lead a life with a balanced whole food diet, full of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and any additional gummy vitamins and herbs for the promotion of antioxidants and fiber that can provide your body with a good level of vitamins and nutrients vital for mental health.
A sedentary lifestyle is becoming more common as you spend more than 40 hours per week in an office setting and live in the digital age. It is estimated that you spend more than five hours per day on your phones and three hours watching television, on average. Combining leisure and work, this is a lot of time to spend sitting down. Research has found that a sedentary lifestyle can negatively impact your mental health by increasing the risks of depression, stress, and anxiety. On the other hand, incorporating physical activity in your daily life has the power to release feel-good hormones, relieve stress, balance hormones, strengthen willpower and build resilience.
There are many reasons why you may suffer from your mental health, but it is not limited to just your environment or lifestyle choices. Your genetics can also play a role in the deterioration of your mental health. A review of your family’s health can determine if this has caused any issues you may be experiencing or advise whether you are more likely to suffer from a specific problem. Genes are passed down from parents to children and hold important information.
Problems at Work or Losing Your Job
Work is the place you spend most of your time, so if you are experiencing problems in the workplace, it is more than likely to impact your mental health. Whether it is getting you down or increasing the level of stress you are experiencing, it can negatively affect your mental wellbeing. In addition, workplace problems make it difficult to switch off at the end of the day, dragging your problems into your life, disturbing your sleep, and leaving you feeling powerless.
Your job holds a huge safety net for you, allowing you to have a roof over your head and food on your plate. If you have recently lost your job, it is not common to affect your mental health. However, a job loss usually results in feelings of shame, fear, stress, anxiety, and even depression.
If this problem occurs, you must reach out for support to get you back on track or resolve any issues quickly.
Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol and drugs are often used to cope in difficult situations. Unfortunately, alcohol and drugs can leave you feeling worse in the long run, as they can enhance or cause anxiety, stress, depression, paranoia and increase the risk of physical health issues. Dependency on alcohol or drugs can also lead to complications with cognitive functions, impacting your work and relationships.
Many factors can impact your mental health, both positively or negatively. It is important to understand these different factors, so you can seek support from medical professionals and implement the correct strategies and lifestyle changes to help improve your mental health to live a more fulfilling life.